76ers close to wrong side of history again

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The 76ers continue to set dubious records.

Falling 114-104 to the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night dropped the Sixers to 0-14 and kept them as the only winless team in the NBA.

If the Sixers lose to the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center, they’ll tie the franchise record for most consecutive losses to open a season. The 1972-73 Sixers started 0-15 and finished 9-73, the worst mark in league history.

The Sixers are coming close to breaking the Nets’ record from 2009-10 when they began 0-18 and wound up winning only 12 games.

In their latest defeat, the Sixers managed a season-low 10 turnovers. But they shot 0-for-8 from beyond the arc, snapping a streak of 209 straight games with at least one 3-pointer.

For the Sixers to win, they need to play a near perfect game. Even if the turnovers are down, they have to knock down shots. Everything has to go right in the same game.

That’s obvious with 14 consecutive losses.

Coach Brett Brown remains unfazed.

“We’re not that far away. I genuinely believe that,” Brown said. “I believe this team is starting to see bits of things coming together.”

Despite the daily struggles, Brown sees improvement.

Nerlens Noel scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting, his second consecutive game in double figures. Michael Carter-Williams missed his first five shots but ended up with 24 points. Tony Wroten scored 20 points, the seventh time this season that he’s reached 20 or more.

The box score showed that the Sixers lost. Again.

“Nobody is rolling over or pointing fingers,” Brown said. “This locker room is great. You go home and sleep OK. It wasn’t that bad. There were a lot of positives.”

The Trail Blazers won their eighth straight game, improved to 11-3 and dominated the undersized Sixers in the paint.

On most nights, the Sixers are challenged down low.

“We have to attack,” Wroten said. “We don’t have too many bigs and we don’t have too many shooters, so we have to attack.”

It would be natural for the players to be frustrated.

After all, Thanksgiving is approaching and they’ve yet to celebrate a victory.

“We’re sticking together in here,” said guard-forward Hollis Thompson. “We’re working hard every day and we’re going to get a W. It’ll come. We all know it’s not going to be easy. The players and coaches are all in this together and we’re going to keep putting in good days. We just have to do it for 48 minutes. We’ve had close calls. It’s a matter of putting it together for an entire night.”

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